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Spicer can't say if Trump backs Attorney General Sessions: 'I have not had a discussion with him'

  • White House spokesman Sean Spicer hasn't "had a discussion" with President Donald Trump about his confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
  • A New York Times report says Trump has "fumed" over Sessions recusing himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
Cheriss May | NurPhoto | Getty Images
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that he cannot speak for how President Donald Trump feels about Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"I have not had a discussion with him about that," the press secretary responded when asked how much confidence the president has in Sessions.

Pressed on the issue, Spicer said, "If I haven't had a discussion with [Trump] on a subject, I tend not" to speak about it.

Hours later, ABC News reported that the president and attorney general's relationship has "become so tense" that Sessions "at one point recently even suggested he could resign."

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment to CNBC.

The developments followed a New York Times report that Trump "has grown sour on" Sessions, "blaming him for various troubles that have plagued the White House." The newspaper said that Trump has "fumed" over Sessions recusing himself from the FBI probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Trump targeted Sessions' Justice Department in a tweet Monday, saying that it should have "stayed with the original" version of what he called his "travel ban." Trump is pushing for the Supreme Court to reinstate a revised version of his executive order restricting travel from six predominantly Muslim countries.